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Wrangʹler

,

in Cambridge phrase, is one who has obtained a place in the highest mathematical tripos. The first man of this class is termed the senior wrangler, the rest are arranged according to respective merit, and are called second, third, fourth, etc., wrangler, as it may be. In the Middle Ages, when letters were first elevated to respectability in modern Europe, college exercises were called disputations, and those who performed them disputants, because the main part consisted in pitting two men together, one to argue pro and the other con. In the law and theological “schools” this is still done for the bachelor’s and doctor’s degrees. The exercise of an opponent is called an opponency. Wrangling is a word-battle carried on by twisting words and trying to obfuscate an opponent—a most excellent term for the disputations of schoolmen. The opponency begins with an essay on the subject of dispute.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Worm
Worms
Wormwood
Worse than a Crime
Worship
Worsted
Worth
Worthies (The Nine)
Wound
Wraith
Wrangler
Wrath’s Hole (Cornwall)
Wraxen
Wright of Norwich
Write
Write Like an Angel (To)
Wrong
Wrong End of the Stick (You have got hold of the)
Wrong Side of the Blanket (The)
Wrong Side of the Cloth (That is the)
Wrong Sow by the Ear (You have the)

See Also:

Wrangler